A Quick Guide to Gift-Getting


Every year, the women of my family ask me for a Christmas list. And since I’m a technologically capable and somewhat thoughtful 20-something, I give them a highly-organized, curated, and easy-to-use listing of everything they could possibly imagine. I include pictures, site links, prices, sizing – it’s a goddamn encyclopedia of gift-giving knowledge. And every year, my family basically says, “Nah, fuck that,” ignoring pretty much every idea I gave them. So instead of getting things I actually want, I’m stuck with an armful of ill-fitting, wack ass crap. Every damn year.

This year, I’m taking my hard-earned knowledge of how to survive this fiasco and imparting it to you, our loving readers, because I know I’m not the only one.


1a. If you know ahead of time your list will most likely be ignored I suggest you skip making one  at all. It’s a waste of time. And you should therefore proceed to step two.

1b. If you’re forced to offer something, keep it short and sweet. These days my list consists solely of, “money.” I used to write, “Dolla dolla bills y’all,” until I wound up with $3 on Christmas morning.

2. Secondly, learn to feign excitement.

SOTH_XMAS-240This skill comes in handy on more than just Christmas morning. “I LOVE this sweater,” translates pretty easily into things like, “I LOVE how you look in that dress,” and, “I LOVE you.” Just ask my ex-girlfriends.SOTH_XMAS-180

3a. Get receipts .

You need receipts to return shit, which let’s be honest, you’ll be doing a lot of. Whether you flip the stuff for straight cash homie, or you’re forced to do an exchange, the trick is to get a receipt in a polite, innocuous way. My strategy is to lie, generally concocting some wacky story about my fluctuating body size. “Oh gee whiz, I think I’ll need a large in this.” Tell everyone something different so know one really knows what to buy for you. I’m pretty sure no one in my family has an accurate idea of what size I am in anything, which is how I like it.

3b. Return stuff PRONTO.

Two things happen after the holidays: People return things like crazy, and prices drop on F/W gear that wasn’t sold pre-christmas. Get there early and you can turn one shitty shirt into two, maybe three awesome new pieces.  December 26 is the real Black Friday. If you don’t know, now you know.

4. Continue the lie.


People in your family hope to see you wearing what they bought you, and they’ll be hurt if they found out you returned it. But you wouldn’t have to return it if they had better taste, right? Right. So you needn’t worry- The odds are with you on this one. There are 365 days in a year, and I only see my family like, I don’t know, four of them. So for that 1% of the year bust out this line: “Yeah, I only brought one shirt home this break. But I wear that cat sweater all the time.”


-Nick Longsfeld